Smoking Cessation: How to Quit
Take These Steps toward Freedom from Nicotine
- Vow to quit. Most people know that smoking is not good for them. But the tendency is to think about quitting without actually doing it. Talk yourself into it and make the firm decision to quit once and for all.
- Pick a date. By selecting a specific quit day in advance, you can give yourself adequate time to prepare for issues that may arise and to line up needed resources. Your optimal quit date may be a day of the week that is less stressful for you. Or you may want to choose a special date, such as a birthday or holiday. You may even decide to quit spur of the moment. Go for it!
- Give yourself a pep talk. Understand that you will probably have to overcome a number of physical and emotional issues as you rid yourself of nicotine. Tell yourself that you will have the strength to overcome nicotine withdrawal and strong urges to smoke. Know that if you need help, there are many resources out there.
- Get support. Besides family and friends, you can turn to health care professionals, counselors, support groups and even telephone quitlines like the NC Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW). You may also find that a smoking-cessation medication may help. Just make sure it’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Plan ahead for challenges. There will be times when you are tempted to smoke or chew. By planning ahead for these occasions, you can be prepared to resist temptation. Think of places and situations that may place you at risk for using tobacco. For example, you may crave nicotine while at certain social events or at specific venues, such as a bar or lounge. Instead, visit nonsmoking venues, such as museums, movie theatres and shopping malls.
- Learn coping techniques. Many smokers who try to quit cite stress as the main reason for returning to smoking. Rather than using nicotine to ease stress, adopt new ways of coping. Learn about stress management techniques by visiting your library or talking with your doctor or mental health provider.
- Consult with your doctor. Ask about medications, counseling and smoking cessation programs, all of which improve your chances of success. If you and your doctor opt for prescription drugs, start taking them 1 or 2 weeks before your quit day in order for them to take effect.
Next: How to Stick with It